Tremors (1990)

The monster movie that breaks new ground.

Hick handymen Val McKee and Earl Bassett can barely eke out a living in the Nevada hamlet of Perfection, so they decide to leave town -- despite an admonition from a shapely seismology coed who's picking up odd readings on her equipment. Before long, Val and Earl discover what's responsible for those readings: 30-foot-long carnivorous worms with a proclivity for sucking their prey underground.

This valley is just one long smörgåsbord.
Finally deciding to break free of their small town existence, handymen Val and Earl find that it's easier said than done. The reason? Giant underground worms are attacking the place and they are now needed more than ever.
The 50s ream of sci-fi schlockers and creaky creature features are, depending on your persuasion, either genius fun or tacky nuisances. Since I belong to the first group, Tremors is possibly one of the finest homages to a most wonderful time in cinema. What is often ignored is that those 50s film's deal with the paranoia of the time, with nuclear testing and a wondering appertaining to Roswell like alien visits being very prominent in honest Joe's thoughts. So it be that Tremors is ideally set out in the desert, a place from where all manner of terrifying things have come forward to announce a threat to the American way of life.
We are in the small town of Perfection, a place that may be small on residents, but very much large on character. We have dim wits, annoying kid, cutesy single mom types, Mr and Mrs Rambo and courtesy of Finn Carter's seismologist Rhonda LeBeck, a romantic and charmingly fun filled thread. Containing dashes of gore and reams of cheeky suspense, Tremors proudly wears its "B" movie heart on its sleeve. While in Fred Ward (Earl) and Kevin Bacon (Val) the genre possibly has its greatest pairing. As male buddy buddy combos go, these pair take the cake. Funny and full of devilish derring do, Tremors deserves to be watched for this partnership if nothing else - yes they are that good! The creatures are well designed and prove to be a scary and enjoyable foe, whilst the Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California location is perfectly utilised by cinematographer Alexander Gruszynski. Directed by Ron Underwood on his feature film debut, Tremors also sees Reba McEntire, Michael Gross and Victor Wong also along for this fun packed ride. 8/10

Universal Pictures, No Frills Film Production by Ron Underwood, S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock.
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross.

Genres: Comedy, Horror

Keywords: nevada small town tractor stranded cult favorite rural area tentacle graboids seismologist binoculars giant worm man eating monster

01/19/1990

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